lifestyle

The Daily Vinyasa: A Working-Draft Manifesto

Welcome to The Daily Vinyasa. 

Before I can get to the what of this offering, I’d like to share with you the why behind it.

You know that feeling you get when you take a great yoga class?

Whether that feeling flashes you in a certain pose (pigeon, bridge, a humble forward fold).

Or it pulses through your entire practice (breath, focus, movement are seamlessly interwoven; your presence is your gift; your attention never waivers; nothing else except the gorgeous moment you are witnessing exists).

Or at the end (a transcendent savasana, where you can dive deeper than the surface-level noise/anxiety/stressors to the place you know IS you).

You leave class feeling lighter & softer & more dropped into yourself than you have in as long as you can remember.

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After a few times like this, you begin wonder if that feeling you touch in your yoga practice might be something you have access to outside the warm walls of the studio or beyond the edges of your yoga mat.

You might imagine you had a few minutes (or more) to ask the teacher after class: how might I bring this feeling out of the yoga studio and with me into the fabric of my days, into the rhythm of my life?

Or maybe you could actually turn to the person next to you after class and ask them if they wondered too… if only you didn’t have to rush out to work, to school, onto the next.

Let me tell you a story.

For many years, yoga was something I “went to” or “scheduled” around whatever else I was doing in my life (high school, college, law school, work, relationships, friendships, families, holidays, travel, you get it). I always felt better when I was there, even had some vague sense that I "should" do it more often. And then went back to the rest of my life.

Five years ago or so, I finally got clued into the truth behind this myth I was doggedly devoted to during my twenties: that one day, I’d wake up & everything would be “figured out.” That if I checked enough of the right boxes, I would eventually step triumphantly into my real, grown-up life.

Then I got clued in (thank you to those who’ve walked this path before me) to what felt like a liberating & terrifying secret: you never really arrive.

Busting this myth allowed me to shift my yoga practice from something I did into something I was.

My whole life opened up.

I realized that life is what you’re doing (or not doing) right now. That the quality of each of our days creates the rhythm for our lives. Annie Dillard says it better than I: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

[It was this exact revelation, this lightbulb moment that led me to my future husband and allowed me to do a total 180 on my “career path,” leaving the full-time practice of law for the full-time practice of yoga. But those are stories for another day!]

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The Daily Vinyasa is where I aim to explore the intersection of a yoga, meditation, spiritual practice and our everyday lives.

Because, really, we do yoga not necessarily to get better at yoga (though the poses feel good & yoga butts are nice). We do yoga to get better at our lives.

I know this to be true: your birthright is a deeper experience of this human life. The YOU you touch in savasana is accessible all the time. It just takes - you guessed it - practice. Everyday.

What I hope to offer in The Daily Vinyasa are the stories, the tools, the spiritual technologies, the practices, the inspiration, and the community to help you access that birthright of deep connection in your daily life. To have those conversations and to get the support you need to begin to allow that feeling to infuse the quality of your days & thus your life.

I chose the name The Daily Vinyasa for this project because this practice of conscious living is truly a daily one. There’s no real “end” or “goal” to this way of living because the very nature of “vinyasa” tells us that every cycle has a beginning, middle, not just an end.

“Vinyasa” is not only that plank pose/chaturanga/updog/downdog thing you do in a yoga class or a particular style of yoga.

“Vinyasa” means “to place in a special way.”

What a gorgeous, guiding principle.

Imagine - just for a moment - if your rushed routine to get out the door in the morning became your “morning vinyasa." Or you didn’t just crash into bed at the end of a hurried, harried day or zonk out in front of the TV. Your “evening vinyasa” could shepherd you through the satisfying resolution of your day.

I believe it's possible because I've learned that... 

  • With our attention + intention, routine can be elevated to ritual.
  • Our moments make up our days and our days become our lives.
  • Everyday has a beginning, middle, and end. We were designed to tap into the rhythms of the natural world unfolding around + within us.
  • Our practice can be a container for our lives - a laboratory for testing the stories we tell ourselves, a place of communion + homecoming, a reference point for our days & our "gradually growing wholeness." (thank you Rumi). 
  • All effort can be accompanied by ease.
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I share this with you not because I’ve figured it all out. Because this life thing, like yoga, is a practice. Everyday we show up. We offer our effort, tempered with ease. Our presence. Our hearts. The movements of our bodies that make our life: preparing a meal, having a conversation with a loved one, messing up + trying again.

Think of me as a river guide (thank you Shiva for that way of seeing our role as yoga teacher). I’ve navigated these waters. And though they are different everyday (and different for you than for me), I can point out the bends in the river, where the current picks up, where the rocks are high and the water shallow.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey.

Thank you, thank you,

Catherine xo

p.s. As I share more & more, I want to do so in dialogue with you. If you take a moment to let me know what it is you’d love to see here, I’ll send my thanks with a peek into my current top 3 daily practices to take my yoga off the mat and into my life.